The West Indies will head into the second T20 against Pakistan striving for improvement on their previous performance. The hosts batting performance was mediocre after they scored just 111 runs which was always going to be tough to defend in the first of four games in this series.
The remaining three games in the series will be played in Trinidad (Queen’s Park Oval), the last T20 International played at this ground was in 2011 where the West Indies hosted India on a very slow pitch which was pointed out by Darren Sammy post-match. Bringing us back to the present, the Windies went in with a very strange-looking eleven, more so the batting line-up which looked very unsettled and jumbled in more ways than one. Lendl Simmons batted at No. 4, Rovman Powell came in at No. 7 as a specialist batsman and they decided to leave out Jason Mohammed and Jonathan Carter who impressed in the recent ODI series with bat against England, deciding to go with Kieron Pollard over both of them. It just seems like common sense is failing to prevail when selecting a competitive XI, leaving the worthy candidates on the sideline and self-sabotaging themselves over their visible selection blunders. It’s not good for the supporters who pay to see their team perform, and it’s not good for cricket in general. Think back to the ICC World T20 in India last year, The West Indies played inspired cricket because they weren’t shuffling the team around 24-7 which resulted in some huge upsets, the most memorable of them being the final against the hosts, the heavily-backed Indians. It’s good to see they’re playing Narine and Badree together along with Holder who’s height is a weapon when he gets the ball zipping through chest height, it’s the batting that needs some serious tweaking.
Pakistan did what they had to do in that first T20, although it turned out being easier than expected after they rolled the home side for a below-par total. Hats off to Shadab Khan who channeled his inner Shahid Afridi with the ball, giving absolutely next to nothing away in the runs department as he claimed a stunning 3/7 off his four overs on debut, also being awarded man of the match in a dream start to his International career. The bowling performance was really good from Pakistan across the board, the best thing about their attack is that a number of them have taken big hauls in this format which gives them some depth at the back-end of the innings. Selecting a strong batting line-up was always on the cards for this tour, Kamran Akmal was rewarded for his PSL form with the bat and is very much the danger man at the top of the order in this series. Shoaib Malik top scored with an unbeaten 38 closely followed by Babar Azam who batted at No. 3, the stability of this batting order should combat the West Indian spinners for the series which really does put the hosts on the back foot if they can’t produce frequent breakthroughs. if the pitch conditions are similar to the last T20 International played on this strip, it should heavily favor Pakistan who are used to these types of conditions back home. The best chance the West Indies have of winning is producing a sizable total around 160+, if they can do that the spinners should be able to defend that quite comfortably, in saying that everything looks better in hindsight.
West Indies top 5 key players | 2nd T20I | Port Of Spain
- Evin Lewis
- Sunil Narine
- Marlon Samuels
- Jonathan Carter
- Carlos Brathwaite
Pakistan’s top 5 key players | 2nd T20I | Port Of Spain
- Babar Azam
- Imad Wasim
- Ahmed Shehzad
- Shadab Khan
- Shoaib Malik
Team News | West Indies
Expect changes to be made after their poor batting display in the first game, the most vulnerable of them are Lendl Simmons and Rovman Powell. The likely inclusions would be Jason Mohammed and Jonathan Carter who realistically should have been included in the first match in Bridgetown. Veterans Marlon Samuels and Kieron Pollard are expected to retain their spots despite low scores, the team balance would be thrown out of the window if those two were dropped. The bowling attack should remain unchanged.
West Indies (possible) – 1. Evin Lewis 2. Chadwick Walton (wk) 3. Marlon Samuels 4. Lendl Simmons/Jason Mohammed 5. Kieron Pollard 6. Rovman Powell/Jonathan Carter 7. Carlos Brathwaite (c) 8. Jason Holder 9. Sunil Narine 10. Samuel Badree 11. Kesrick Williams.
Team News | Pakistan
It’s extremely likely that Pakistan’s XI will remain unchanged for this second game.
Pakistan (possible) – 1. Kamran Akmal 2. Ahmed Shehzad 3. Babar Azam 4. Mohammad Hafeez 5. Shoaib Malik 6. Sarfraz Ahmed (c & wk) 7. Imad Wasim 8. Shadab Khan 9. Sohail Tanvir 10. Wahab Riaz 11. Hasan Ali.